‘Historian´ spotlights legendary songster of rhythm

     Francesco Paolo LoVecchio aka “Mr. Steel Tonsils”,”Old Leather Lungs”, and “Mr. Rhythm”, but mostly known as Frankie Laine (1930-2007) has been given a posthumously validation by the authorship of Richard Grudens in his 2009 book entitled: “Mr. Rhythm-A Tribute to Frankie Lane.” Grudens, who has been tagged as “the musical historian of our time” by Kathryn Crosby, wife of Bing, has editorially captured this legendary singer´s life with not only endless professional and personal written commendations, but also on exhibit is an abundance of Big Band era-related photos of Laine with a cast of song, movie and industry legends. These photos undoubtedly displays the visual truth that supports Laine´s monumental humility, one that I found to even rank higher in achievement than his 1957 blockbuster tune, “That´s My Desire.”

  FrankieLaineFront   Although I cannot claim the same results as written by Clint Eastwood in the book´s Foreword, mainly because of the twenty-something difference in age when a number of Laine´s songs of amorousness were at their listening height, but in my audio research, Eastwood´s word to describe results; I certainly found his modifier a joy, an unblemished presentation of respect for love-making; in fact, it made my day as well as reinforces his man of dignity persona.

     As the old cliché goes in reference to evaluation – “…don´t judge a book by its cover” – I find beyond the front cover, the book design to be one of amateurish for a person of Laine´s global prominence, who left an indelible mark on the performing arts industry. It does not validate by visual appearance, the Kennedy Center Honor class Laine rightfully has earned in my view.

     The printing, the typeface and the photo reproduction shows distortions and way too dark. Furthermore, I don´t get Page 111 with the photo of Laine duplicated in a screen effect. Must had space to fill? In addition, from 204-211 including the back cover, if I was the publisher, I would used separate methods to pump up myself and less participatory display of gratitude; after all, this is a tribute to Frankie Lane. One other note and this does not have to do with the book review, but on Richard Gruden´s website, it is noted what I initially referenced by Mrs. Crosby as “the musical historian of our time.” Mrs. Crosby comment was in regards to Gruden´s 1999 book, “Jukebox Saturday Night.” She also added, “Without him, the magic would be lost forever. We all owe him a debt that we can never repay.” I suggest the author´s PR person to add the periods before/after to show an excerpted passage. Facts are facts.

     Now back to ´wikipediarichardgruden´ on his celebrity profile books. Would I shell out $29.95 plus tax if I was in a bookstore? Certainly because the historical content prior to Laine´s March 2006´s “Moments to Remember” PBS appearance, immensely serves as a strong ´I Believe´ reading about one man´s life travels who are truthfully documented by greats in my assessment, regardless of place on the musical rung or as once said by American playwright Tennessee Williams (1911-1983): “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” Undoubtedly, Laine´s associations has forth rightfully attested to his “canonized” in the league of the bests, and “Mr. Rhythm – A Tribute to Frankie Lane” illustrates Gruden´s rolling, rolling promotional style of keeping those memories alive.

     Concluding, I repeat to Richard what his mentor and friend always said: “May God Bless” but I add: I will be looking forward to your authorship about Dr. Steven Kiley´s lover.

Review by Ben Rayman




Published by on December 2011. Filed under Reviews - Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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